Posted by: emrisko7 | September 29, 2016

Sorry friends, it’s a Title IX post

In class I often find myself feeling as though we have a tendency to focus the majority of our discussions on the negativity, the barriers, associated with women finding their way “through the labyrinth” so-to-speak. While it is extremely important to have an awareness of the problems we face as a society- as a WHOLE society, not just women- it is also important to have an awareness of the progress that has been made towards improving conditions for women. This is how we learn and evaluate what is effective and which steps should be taken next to guide us in the appropriate direction. While conducting my interview and writing my paper, progress, and not hindrance for women in leadership, seemed to be the theme. My interviewee had brought up the topic of Title IX, a topic she is very well-versed in as she has studied it extensively. Her knowledge of the law was reflected significantly in her responses, especially in regards to the environment in which she exercises her leadership. After listening to her personal take and then analyzing the subject in my paper, I concluded that while Title IX has certainly had some negative implications, it has helped clear a pathway for women particularly in education.

Just for some background, Title IX is a part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. It protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The legal protection against discrimination on the basis of sex especially in the education field and particularly at the university level, has opened many doors for women. The education of women has improved enormously: “In 2009, approximately 87 percent of women had at least a high school education and approximately 28 percent had at least a college degree, up from 59 percent with a high school education and 8 percent with a college degree in 1970. Additionally, enrollment in higher education has increased at a greater rate for females than for males; since 1968, the percentage of women between the ages of 25 and 34 with at least a college degree has more than tripled.” My interviewee pointed out that not only does Title IX changed students lives, it has changed the way professors present material and associate with their students and colleagues. It has changed the perception that men have of their female colleagues in particular. Title IX has prevented colleagues- male or female- from acting as barriers to women seeking leadership positions within academia. It has altered the way a superior may treat a female in a leadership position. The result of this, as I saw with my interviewee, was a leadership style almost entirely un-gendered. The university environment through Title IX is a place where a woman can simply be a leader, and not a woman-leader.

The reading we had for this past Tuesday, ‘Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers’, had proposed businesses creating communities, or support groups essentially, that would allow “similarly positioned women” to “discuss their feedback, compare notes, and emotionally support one another’s learning.” The objective of these communities would be to identify “common experiences to increase women’s willingness to talk openly, take risks, and be vulnerable without fearing that others will misunderstand or judge them.” The question is then, are these types of communities or something similar a better alternative to laws such as Title IX? Are legal means necessary to improve barriers to women in leadership? To what extent and how beneficial are they if so? Or should we as a society work towards implementing legal methods as well as promoting support groups for women?

 

Sources:

http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/tix_dis.html

https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/crt/legacy/2012/06/20/titleixreport.pdf

https://hbr.org/2013/09/women-rising-the-unseen-barriers#

 


Responses

  1. This post made me think a lot. I believe that Title IX was undeniably a good thing for women, but I like how you made a distinction between how it allowed women to be leaders, but not women-leaders. Very interesting.
    Title IX opened the door for women to do a great many things, but it doesn’t do much to actively help them succeed in a leadership sense. What you said is true, maybe that is something that can be better achieved through support groups and things of that nature then through laws. On the other hand, changing laws can often facilitate the changing of minds and beliefs… Its definitely a complicated issue.

  2. Title IX helped women gain a lot of power in the academic setting, which gave many a chance at attaining leadership within the fields of academia. It helped women to be seen as equals in academics and without the law advancement would have been much harder. While this law is still necessary today, I do not necessarily believe that more laws would be necessary to see more women in leadership. With more and more women simply going to universities there are more women who are becoming experts in their field and ready to take up leadership positions. The communities and awareness are key elements for change, because unfortunately women leaders are more often subconsciously rejected because of the expectations of society. Another key piece to the situation is the changing workforce demographics and women candidates for jobs as the baby boomers and gen X start to retire. Thus, it will be interesting to see how this affects women in leadership in the next 10 years.

  3. Here is an issue that I believe does not get enough recognition. The issue of using government intervention and laws to promote equality is usually an after thought when talking about the way to change things socially. The reason I say this is because much debate and war over social status in history has happened before a social reform. The government intervention is usually the last idea to occur once everyone has picked a side whether it be for or against movements such as Civil Rights and Women’s Suffrage. Why not take steps to ensure that the government steps in and says “hey, here are some legal terms for equality”? While I recognize that many steps have been made to promote equality, I still believe we have a long way to go in legislation that helps foster equality among genders, races, and religions. Therefore, if more laws such as Title IX were implemented, I believe we would see a greater shift of tolerance and awareness of equality issues. I hope that the Equal Pay debate continues and that legislation moves towards providing women with economic and financial equality in the near future. Steps towards laws that promote and demand equality among citizens regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, and other factors, will help us become more of the nation planned out in the hearts of the Revolutionists, who saw true freedom and something to die for. (Wow, sorry for the emotional rant about the 1700s) but seriously y’all, how are we going to call ourselves free people, but not allow the same freedoms to everyone?

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post. It is always nice to receive a positive outlook on the progress women have made in society. I agree with many of your points including how beneficial Title XI has been for women; however, I partly disagree with Title XI creating a genderless form of leadership. As we have seen through various readings, people form expectations and ideal images of what constitutes males and females. We prescribe a set of roles and expectations for each gender. As a result, we form the association between masculine qualities and leadership (Eagly & Carli, 2007). Even with legal enforcements like Title XI, we can not take away the natural biases and prejudices that women leaders face. Ending discrimination based off sex in the workplace or in education completely is impossible because our society has such embedded social expectations for males and females. Yes, our society has made great progress in regards to the expectations and limitations for women leaders, but it is far from perfect. We still have many strides to go before we can reach a genderless society.

    Secondly, I think that legal enforcement like Title XI along with support groups are both necessary for the success of women leaders. Our society needs legal barriers to ensure that women transcends discrimination and foreseen biases. Furthermore, support groups are also beneficial in order to provide safe areas for discussion and support.

    Our society has made great progress, but we still have a long way to go.

    Eagly, A. H., & Carli, L. L. (2007). Through the labyrinth. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.

    -Allison

  5. I feel that Title IX is good for everyone, not just women. It is important to look at what men are gaining from this as well. They are going to school and learning with the equality and drive for women that we need in the work force after they graduate. Yes, it focuses on women’s education and changes what is possible and attainable for women, but with men engrossed in this Title IX lifestyle, with or without choice, they are learning what it means to be an equal member of the collegiate community and hopefully that will carry with them so that they can either lead with equality or respect their leader as an equal regardless of gender.

  6. I think that Title IX was a good thing to happen to this country. Often time I feel like so many sexists comments and events are swept under the rug and that this law brought attention to it. I think we need these rules in place to an extent. Because clearly without them the white male is the only type of person that will have opportunities to succeed. These rules should be in place until everyone faces a equal playing field.

  7. I think that having laws such Title IX is a good and needed thing. I think that legal steps, in many ways can be a very authoritative validation of what has occurred and why we need this regulations now. By literally stating, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from…” this is making it very clear that there will no longer be tolerance for this kind of exclusion. Which indirectly acknowledges that this has happened before, and directly says it can not happen again. I think that this allows for progress in man ways, but one being that it is establishing a place to move up from. It is validating the past, and in that allowing now for change. There can not be any change with out acknowledgement of what needs to be changed.

  8. Using legislation to implement equality is certainly a tricky topic; however, I think its a necessary step we sadly have to take. When groups, such as women, are being marginalized something has to be done. I know Title XIV has a stigma to is nowadays but it paved the way for so many women to get an education which is vital to leadership in my opinion. I liked the idea of support groups within organizations, but I don’t necessarily believe these are a better “alternative” to legislation.Undoubtedly, individuals who are set on discriminating against women will do so, but legislation makes it possible to hold them accountable for that discrimination thus setting a new societal standard.

  9. I do think that laws are necessary for positive change concerning women in leadership positions. Historically, laws have been a catalyst to radical change in our society. If we look at integration in the 50s and 60s, in some places integration only happened because it was legally required. I think that the same is happening now with title IX and women in leadership. It’s paving the way for women and men to be equally represented in positions of leadership. I also think that these support groups could be a vital tool in starting the conversation about why women in leadership face specific challenges and possible solutions to these challenges.

  10. I definitely agree with everyone that legislation like this is very valuable to the advancement of women in education and leadership. I love that it isn’t creating quotas, etc that force the inclusion of women, because in many ways I feel that that can easily undermine those women’s power and authority because people don’t feel that they’ve earned it. Instead this simply says you can’t stop women from doing this and still allows women to blaze their own trail and find their own voice rather than creating one set space where they have to make themselves fit

  11. Since Title IX applies to sports, I’m curious to hear about the sports that are not Co-Ed, like Field Hockey or Football. Do you believe that there should be an equivalent for these sports so that neither gender feels left out?

    Sports are a huge aspect of educational activities, and I believe it is fair and just to not exclude any group of people from an educational activity. To connect sports back to leadership I think about my involvement in swim team in high school. I was a captain, and therefore had an increase in responsibilities. Essentially, this enabled me to learn how to be a leader and how to act in ways the represented our team and our school in a positive way.

    Title IX doesn’t just include women into activities, it also provides opportunities for women to lead & to learn.


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